#Review By Lou – Silenced By Jennie Ensor @Jennie_Ensor @HobeckBooks #Thriller #CrimeFiction

Silenced
By Jennie Ensor

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour, thanks to Hobeck Books who invited me, with my review of the powerful thriller – Silenced by Jennie Ensor. Take a look at the synopsis and my review below, as well as the stunningly creepy, dark, yet atmospheric cover. Find out after all that, a little about the author too.

Silenced cover

Synopsis

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

DI Callum Waverley of the Met’s Major Investigation Team 55 is put in charge of his first murder investigation after a 15-year-old girl is stabbed outside a council estate controlled by the Skull Boys gang. Callum believes that the gang leader, V, ordered the murder. Witnesses are scared to come forward and he struggles to make headway.  Luke, who lives in the estate’s shadow, is drawn into the Skull Boys. Excluded from school, he befriends Jez, a troubled girl being exploited by the gang’s hitman, Zom. Callum becomes the target of escalating intimidation, seemingly from the Skull Boys. He suspects someone in his team may also be involved. Silenced is a gritty crime novel set in north London which delves into the heart of gang culture in 21st-century Britain.

Review

A teenage girl is brutally and shockingly murdered, shaking up the North London community to the core and becomes DI Callum Waverley’s first case. All the teenager was trying to do was try to get home. This a book with pace and so many layers. On the face of it, it’s a standard police procedural, but when you really get into it, there’s much, much more. This is about a community that feels silenced from talking to the police, not even the victim’s own mother wants to. They are all perpetually scared of the Skull Crew and what they might do to silence them. It takes a lot of work for the new DI to penetrate through the wall of silence and unravel the clues as to what happened. DI Callum Waverely also has his own demons to battle and has to push through them to solve the case.

There are themes of exploitation too and as well as exploring this, it also explores people within families who just don’t seem to care enough that their kids are being taken in by gangs when they are at their most vulnerable or acting out or thinking this would be a better way of life etc. This really goes deep into the depths of society, not just with this aspect, but also just how easy it can be for some to fall into being used by gangs and how hard it is to change your life around and escape, once so deep into them. There’s so much depth into the behaviours, morals and injustices that are created by society and are still in existence in Britain in 2021.

There are also themes of love, family, betrayal, violence, alcoholism, loss. The writing is dark, yet has an air of sophistication in all that it deals with, including the impact of crime, not just on the victims and witnesses, but also on those working in the police force, especially those investigating it, which brings a different angle to a police procedural. 

This is one powerful and intensely gripping and gritty book!

Conspiracy of Cats By B.C. Harris @BCHarris64 #CrimeFiction #SupernaturalCrimeFiction #MurderMystery

 Conspiracy of Cats
By B.C. Harris

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I am pleased to bring a review of The Conspiracy of Cats – an involving, chilling murder mystery with a difference that makes it fairly unique. Thanks to Ian Harris for getting in touch and for gifting me a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Take a look at the blurb and review below to find out more.

Conspiracy of Cats

Blurb

Conspiracy of CatsCONSPIRACY OF CATS… a supernatural murder mystery.
An apprehensive Jos Ferguson travels from Edinburgh to northern Tanzania to visit the house her Uncle Peter built before he died. But Peter isn’t as dead as he should be… he was murdered, and he wants his niece to help him exact revenge upon his killer. With a little Maasai magic and a conspiracy of cats, Jos sets out to do exactly that.
A beautiful house. A horrible death. A brilliant revenge.
Who knew death could be so lively?

Review

Meet Jos Ferguson, who’s life is between Scotland, where she is originally from, Tanzania and England. It gets off to an immense start that grips. Readers learn of freak accidents and a murder, so the book isn’t an average journey or holiday and life poses much heartache and challenge.

Meet Jude (Judith Johnstone) is Jos’s aunt who lives in Edinburgh and is most definitely a “cat lady” with no less than 7 cats. There are some heartfelt scenes as she sees Jos off to Africa. She wasn’t always in Edinburgh. It’s interesting reading about her life in the 1970’s when she travelled, rather stylishly for the times, to Bristol in her teenage years, plus attending a party that was so on-trend in Bath, where she met Peter…

The Conspiracy of Cats is immersive, being made up of descriptions and getting to know the people, especially the Maasai Beola and the cats within it. It’s texturised in words and feels rich and all beautifully written. There’s a great house and spacious, beautiful garden, full of nature, created by Jos’s Uncle Peter, where she stays when in Tanzania. It all pulls you almost into a comfortable idyll, rather like being in your own garden whatever the size, if you have one. 

A strange sighting of Peter makes your spine tingle and suddenly a whole new question is posed about his death or if he is really dead and throws Jos into some disarray, this also has an effect on Jude. The book takes a bit of an eerie turn and Jos feels the need to investigate further… There’s a little bit of a supternatural and magical bent that makes this an untypical mystery. This isn’t full on fantasy though, it is a fairly unique crime fictional book that doesn’t have a police detective’s life within it or police stations.

Readers get to know a bit about the Massai culture, which is interesting to read about.

The book certainly takes readers on their “armchair travels” as they see where the characters go and have been in past and present times. 

When the big cats are met, they are keenly described and this gives them real character and have lovely names. They are very much with Jos to set out revenge.

As the investigation continues, there’s an unexpected dark truth that begins to emerge as the sharp edges to the bit of cosyness and humour, gets even edgier and sharper that becomes more chilling than first thought, in this very involving and consuming story.

Dead Mercy By Noelle Holten @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK @BOTBSPublicity #CrimeFiction A #DCMaggieJamiesonNovel #Thriller #BlogTour

Dead Mercy
By Noelle Holten

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am very pleased to be on the blog tour for the dark, gritty, visceral thriller – Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten. Discover more in the blurb and my review below. Opinions are my own. Thanks to One More Chapter for gifting me the book and to Books on The Bright Side for inviting me to review for the blog tour.

Dead mercy cover

Blurb

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin on Dead Inside

A brutal murder…

When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

Review

Visceral and spine-tingling from the start – Dead Mercy sees DC Maggie Jamieson in an awkward situation. There is a  murder is brutal as brutal can be where the victim may be related to a probation officer under her wing. Then the bodies really start to rack up. It’s dark, harrowing and yet, perhaps because you’re at home or somewhere safe and the writing is strong, it’s not only going to give you a shiver down the spine with the dark tension created, but pulls you into its twists and turns as Maggie really digs deep and pushes hard to track down the killer.

There’s also a journalist digging around the investigation, which almost displeases Maggie as she is concerned that she will say or do something that will tip off the murderer that the police are onto the person who is committing such heinous crimes. There are pretty dark secrets that start to emerge. It’s an enthralling rollercoaster read that has much grit within it.

The veil is pulled back on the criminal justice system in the UK in a fictional sense, but gives readers a sense of it through some of the details and plot drive.

The book, although part of a series can be read as a stand alone too. All in all, it’s a strong book!

About the Author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkBtt    Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/  Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @author_noelleholten          Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

                            Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

dead mercy tour poster

#BookReview By Lou – Good Cop, Bad Cop By Simon Kernick Happy Publication Day @simonkernick @headlinepg @RandomTTours #GoodCopBadCop #Thriller #BlogTour

Good Cop, Bad Cop
By Simon Kernick

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Firstly – I wish Simon Kernick a Happy Publication Day! Today I am pleased to review Good Cop, Bad Cop by Simon Kernick on the Random Things Blog Tour.

Good Cop Bad Cop Cover

Don’t forget to breath whilst reading this high octane book!

Check out the blurb and my full review below. Thanks to Headline for gifting me Good Cop, Bad Cop and for Random Thing Tours for inviting me to review.

Good Cop Bad Cop Graphic (2)

 
  Good Cop Graphic 3 Good Cop Graphic 4

Blurb

COURAGEOUS HERO OR COLD-BLOODED CRIMINAL? TONIGHT WE FIND OUT.

It’s 14 years after the worst terrorist atrocity in UK history and, with the perpetrators either dead or missing, the motive remains a mystery.  But Dr Ralph Teller, a wealthy industrialist who lost his wife in the attack, never gave up hope of justice.  He thinks he knows the real identity of the mastermind responsible.

Only one person can help him put together the final pieces of the puzzle – retired police officer Chris Sketty, who infiltrated the terrorist group and was wounded trying to prevent the attack. But Cleverly thinks Sketty is a liar…and possibly far worse He has a dossier on all the former cop’s dark secrets and will make them public unless Sketty tells the truth.

So, over one night, Sketty will share his brutal tale of betrayal, ruthlessness and corruption, finishing with a revelation so terrifying and unexpected that it will change everything. Is Sketty a brave hero, crippled in the line of duty, or the most ruthless mass murderer the country has ever seen?

Good Cop Graphic 6 (1)

Review

Mr Chris Sketty is an interesting character you will want to know. He has a deeply shocking story to tell. It’s about a shocking time of terror that he recalls from 15 years ago. You’re absorbed into Counter Terrorism and the events that happen round about. The book however starts in present day with a heart in your mouth, seriously emotional moment, before whisking readers back. It feels like Chris Sketty, now seriously injured in the line of duty, is sitting beside you giving his account of what happened. It’s clever, involving writing. Simon Kernick revs up the pace very quickly for a a high occtaine, adrenaline driven book.

Chris, with the horrors he sees in his work to contend with, also has major relationship issues. Then there’s the fact he is also lauded a hero, and perhaps on the face of it he may be, but this is twisty book that keeps you guessing and questioning if he really is a hero or not and whether all is as black and white as it first seems. One moment it’s easy to see why he is praised for being all heroic, but the next moment, raises questions as all starts to spill out, like a statement that you’re witnessing as to what really happened, but you never know for sure until the very end what is the real truth and whether he is hero or criminal. 
There is so much that Sketty gets embroiled in as well as the manipulative people he has to deal with. It’s the darkest of places where terrorists lurk and carry out their evil acts. Each page that turns is edge of your seat writing; the pages can’t turn fast enough!

There are so many revelations, even in part 2, which was only 6 weeks ago from part 1. There are so many deaths and you can’t tell instantly who to trust and who are totally untrustworthy. The writing is masterful and so skilled. The thriller is never lost and increasingly builds until you’ve reached the end and closed the book.

Good Cop Bad Cop BT Poster

 

#BookReview By Lou – The Bobby Girls War By Johanna Bell @JoBellAuthor @HodderBooks #BobbyGirlsSeries #WW1 #Saga #TeamBookEnds

The Bobby Girls War
By Johanna Bell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A series that makes you want to stay with from beginning and each new book that is published. The Bobby Girls War is the latest in the series. Even if this isn’t your normal genre or era to read, I highly recommend giving them a try as there’s so much to them at a fast-pace, and yet they are a good read to relax with in these increasingly colder days. Thanks to Hodder & Staughton for gifting me the book to review. Discover more in the blurb and then my review below.

Blurb

The Bobby Girls War coverCurl up with Book Four in the gorgeous Bobby Girls series now!

1916. Poppy is being transferred to an enormous new munitions complex in Gretna, on the Scottish border. Even though it means moving far away from her best friends Maggie and Annie, she is excited for the challenge.

As a member of the Women’s Police Service, it’s her job to maintain law and order so that the factory workers can safely carry out their vital war work. She soon makes friends, and even starts to open herself up to the possibility of love.

But then she sees something in the dead of night, and suddenly the dangers of the war are no longer far away on distant shores. With the enemy hot on her heels and no idea who to trust, can Poppy save herself – and avert disaster for her country?

 

Review

It is often a delight to read and review from The Bobby Girls series. These are books that are  great for curling up with in the wintry months to find out what the girls are up to next. This one concentrates more on Poppy Davis as she has moved away from being around, her now established, newest friends in London, England, to Gretna, Scotland. There is also still much enjoyment to catch up with her friends Maggie and Annie too, who are also very busy with the Foundling Hospital which is feeling the pressure of increasing intakes of “doorstep” abandoned babies, which Poppy also helps with before she leaves. Maggie and Annie are also busy with the WPS setting up places they can go too.

There are some changes with Alice in munitions and also a new Chief Constable – Chief Constable Jackson, who has a lot to catch up on of what has been happening, particularly in Holborn with continuing work to further reduce prostitutes around the area and abandoned babies.

 The book gives insight to the war through the soldiers and also from what it was like being home, as shown through an emotional, yet beautifully composed letter for Poppy. When Poppy does arrive in Scotland, there’s more to learn than she seems to initially thought from Grace as well as many dangers so many workers face each day, especially with explosive chemicals in the factories where one wrong move could be deadly, which adds some suspense, as does the possibility of a spy…. Once again, the writing is enthralling and as the chapters go on, you just want to know more. There’s more than meets the eye for Poppy to manage, who starts to have her doubts whether she can manage or not, even with Grace’s positivity. Nightshifts bring more dangers, more than she could ever know until there is a highly perilous position with not much time to waste! There are some gaspable moments to say the least and all is riveting.

The book is refreshing as it shows a different side to some males in the force who Poppy meets as it shows that they can (and many were) supportive. This book also shows the developing relationships between the different characters, including one from Christmas, which is so heartwarming. Even though there’s dangers and hardships, there is warmth and some really lovely moments and a bit of romance. She also hasn’t left her London friends completely behind either. It shows that distance doesn’t mean friendships end.

#BookReview by Lou – The New Home By Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt @bookouture #PsychologicalThriller #Thriller

The New Home
By Chris Merritt

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The New Home is a stand-alone psychological thriller that has a quiet intensity propelling the pages to turn and will keep you guessing. FInd out more in the blurb and then my full review,
First, thanks to Bookouture and Chris Merritt for the book and allowing me to review.

The New Home

Blurb

The New HomeFreya loves her new home on a quiet suburban street. And her beautiful neighbour Emily is everything she’s ever wanted in a best friend. Finally, she has somebody to share her secrets with over a glass of wine. But as Freya watches her new friend setting the table for dinner one evening, she sees something shocking that makes her think that Emily’s life might not be as perfect as it seems. Days later, Emily and her daughter vanish…

When you meet Emily’s husband, you will think you know what he’s hiding.

You will ask yourself whether Emily and Freya really did meet by chance.

You will think you know what happened to Emily and her little girl the night they went missing.

But when you discover the truth, it will shake you to your core and you will lie awake at night wondering if you can ever really trust the people in the house next door…

Review

Jack and his fiancee, Freya have moved to Sunningdale Road to Weybridge, a London suburb. They move to a house, which should have been wonderful. A new home also brings new neighbours to get to know. These are Emily and Michael and their daughter Thea. There is also Cathy to meet, along the way. Things seem like they could be okay, even though Emily and Michael’s relationship have strains within it due to bereavement of a miscarriage, which Emily are trying to talk through with therapist, Laurence.
There is also control within relationships and delusion that are some of the other meaty themes dealt with in the threads of the book.

 Emily and Thea go missing and the search, reported on the news, is on. As time goes on, the mystery to the disappearance of them deepens, and also feels more sinister and at times, spine-tinglingly so. The quiet intensity also builds, that wraps around this psychological thriller that keeps you guessing to the end and leave you thinking about it for a while after, since what seems like a nice neighbourhood has darkness within it.

On another note, this book may be also good for book clubs as it holds plenty to discuss within the themes raised and character behaviours.

Read to the very end and find an author’s note about the themes dealt with in this book and holds an important message for readers.

This is the author’s first standalone novel. He is known more for writing series and it absolutely does not disappoint!